The impasse over admissions in minority schools under the Right To Education (RTE) continues as nine trust-owned minority schools of the 16 who were served the notice earlier this week have moved the Gujarat High Court. On Friday, education officials began visiting minority schools to facilitate admission procedures under the RTE Act, a day after the notice period to admit students under the Act ended.
Of the 16 schools who were served a notice on Monday to admit students or face strict action, nine of them, including St Basil School and MGM, have appealed in the court against the notice. Meanwhile, St Thomas school in Gorwa area of the city has agreed to admit the students.
Minority schools in the city have based their refusal to admit students under the RTE Act on a 2014 verdict of the Supreme Court which says that the Act does not apply to aided or unaided minority schools. The apex court’s 2014 order had stated that though the RTE Act is constitutionally valid, aided or unaided minority schools cannot be obligated to reserve 25 per cent seats from socially and economically weaker sections of the society.
“We are aware of the SC ruling and abiding by that. We had asked schools to produce their minority certificates in February this year. But these schools in question had not submitted the required documents. So, we included them in the RTE schools list too and now they will have to admit students under the Act,” said Education Inspector Shivangi Sashtri, who is in-charge of the RTE admissions across schools in Vadodara.
The minority certificate remains a bone of contention between education officials and the schools as the former claim that the certificate needs to be renewed every three year, the latter say the DEO’s notice is beyond understanding as the schools have minority status already.